Day 404...Life Is Pretty Good

Saturday 3 December 2016

The sound of the wind and the ocean early this morning was like a pleasant dream. After only a few hours rest, I lay in bed listening to the morning awaking, with other campers moving quietly about. I’m relieved to have no painful parts to my body after yesterday's exertions; except for a numb arm and fingers. But this is not as a result of my paddling, more of a normal feeling whenever I sleep in Cuzzie, as the mattress is a tad hard, cutting off my circulation most nights. But, if that’s all I have to complain about, life is pretty good!

The other thing was that my stomach was nagging for food yet again, but how could I get something to eat without waking up Bianca? Luckily, she doesn’t seem to mind the early mornings and, after a little bit of wriggling about, soon she was awake as well. We could see Ev moving about in his van, so we brewed up tea and coffee and cooked up a hearty breakfast in the outdoor campsite kitchen. Thanks for everything Glinks Gully campsite guys! I have to say that my favourite place in any campsite is the camp kitchen and today we met such a cool bunch of people. A large group of camper-van friends had also come for the weekend, so much laughter and banter was had as we each cooked up our feast; me on savoury pancakes, Ev on bacon and Bianca on all the other stuff.

Then it was time for a long walk on a beautiful, wild beach, to climb sand dunes, to fly my kite, to look at the ocean, and to talk about the waves and beach-launching techniques. It’s really cool to listen to other people’s advice and ideas. By now, it’s a hot sunny day and we sat in the little playground by the ocean; funnily enough, this is the only place in this little beach town with a small amount of cell phone and internet coverage.

At last, we manage to make contact with others and catch up on weather reports and life outside our little bubble. Thank you all for your lovely texts and emails about my Kaipara crossing. As I chat, the other two sit and swing. This always makes me smile because, as adults, we still all love to sit on the kids’ swings and this playground has such a beautiful vista out onto the beach and the blue ocean, and it’s a beautiful sunny day. We seem to have taken over the little park, and with Bianca's directions, I tried to practice my head and hand stands but they are still so pathetic. In fact, a local lady passed by as I fell onto the grass again in a crumpled heap. She actually joined in with all of us laughing. I’m obviously going to have to practice a bit more and try to remove that "I can't" negative mind set.

By now the sun was blazing, so we strolled back to the campsite, sat under Cuzzie’s awning and had an amazing late lunch. Bianca is keen to go Geocaching, so off to Dargaville we drive. Three of the four were located and then I had a quick catch up with Elaine and Don whom I had met in the South Island, at Karamea. Time was slipping away, so back out to Glinks Gully we went. We took Louise off the roof for some quick repairs and maintenance and then had a big camp kitchen dinner and gathering. I have to say “thank you” to everyone in the fun group for the cash donation towards the charity bucket and the yummy dinner. We so enjoyed chatting. I even met a lady whose son learned singing from my Mum. What a crazy, small world!

Now it was getting dark, so a final, quick climb up to the top of the cliffs to be amazed by this stunning, very special view. Then we did some last-minute preparation and planning for tomorrow's paddle, so that we can keep heading further north. We had cups of kawakawa tea and listened to the sound of Bianca playing the guitar and singing while I write my blog, a lovely way to end this Saturday night. In anticipation of my Sunday on the water, I head to bed with butterflies in my stomach.

My smiles today:
Waking to the sound of the ocean.
Campsite kitchens.
Wonderful, generous Northland people.
New and very beautiful friends.
Sitting in the sun, eating wonderful food.
Climbing to the top of hills to watch sunsets.

My thoughts today:
Do better, be better, keep on growing, keep on motivating yourself, and keep on living.

Goodnight from Red, Bianca and Ev. 

Ma Te Wa.